Using Replication-Related Techniques to Examine the Significance of Fabrics in Mississippian Society
|Title||Using Replication-Related Techniques to Examine the Significance of Fabrics in Mississippian Society|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Keywords||Mississippian societies, replication stidues, southeastern North America, Textiles|
Fabrics and other fiber perishables only rarely survive in the archaeological record. To supplement analysis of physical remains, archaeologists have found that replication and related techniques can be useful in many ways. This paper focuses on the role of smaller-scale studies in investigating hypotheses about the significance of fabrics in southeastern North America between about 1000 and 400 years ago, as well as noting ways in which replication-related studies might provide additional useful information in proving or disproving particular hypotheses. As one case study, I discuss how replication-related techniques assisted me in learning more about fabrics made and used around 700 years ago in a particular Mississippian village, including something of their social and economic significance, as well as what sorts of useful information about Mississippian fabrics might be derived through additional work along these lines. Replication-related experimentation can provide important information about the time and skill required to produce particular fabrics, and thus about the socioeconomic significance of such materials and their production within a particular community. To avoid misleading results, however, large-scale projects and multiple experiments are recommended.